ECE220 Science and Environmental Awareness Assignment Help

ECE220 Science and Environmental Awareness Assignment Help

ECE220 Science and Environmental Awareness Assignment Help


Assignment One Probing Children’s understandingsValue 30 % (1200 words) due April 3 2017 (IKE – due second intensive)
This is a report based on an interview with young children to determine their existing understandings of science or the natural environmental.

Assignment Two Teaching for Quality Learning in Science Value 50% (2000 words) due May 15th  (IKE – due third intensive) 2017
This is a collection of brief reports which illustrate ‘intentional’ teaching. Deakin students collect accounts of observed practice which enhance a child’s (children’s) science understanding

Assignment Three Collection of tasks Value 20%  (800 words) Ongoing due dates until May 29 2017.

  • On-campus students –portfolio tutorial tasks
  • Geelong/Warrnambool & DLC students- 2 tasks submitted on-line on CLOUDDEAKIN, except for the weeks when students are attending intensives.
  • IKE – due thirdintensive

On-campus students -complete an activity within their on-campustutorial. Across the 9 weeks of trimester, 2 tasks will be collected at the tutorial and marked. The cumulative mark will be adjusted to 20% of your final mark. General feedback will be provided online on a regular basis. On-campus students must submit their tutorial write-up on the day of the tutorial, no late write-ups accepted.

Assignment 1: Report: Probing children’s prior understandings

This assignment is an individualtask working with 2-4 children. The planning, data collection, and writing of the report is to be done individually. A report is written text using sub-headings and objective statements of findings.  You need to include evidence-based claims and avoidterms such as “I believe. Or I think…” The report should be a stand-alone document with further information in the appendix.

This assignment is based on explorations you will carry out when working with children during a small group session. During this session, you will provide the children with a range of science experiences. As a part of this, you will explore questioning strategies that probe children’s understanding and provide you with insight into their science understandings.

  • Choose a science topic. Use the appendix at the back of the text or the website
  • If you choose an activity from another site, please ensure that you can identify the science concepts at the correct level.
  • Identify and list the concepts that you are probing for. 2 concepts are enough to attempt. Be very specific about the concepts.

For example, a concept might be: “An electric circuit is a complete, unbroken pathway” –

  • Select or indicate the activities and approaches that you will use to probe young children’sunderstandings of these concepts. You need to be able to justify why the activity(ies) is suitable for the age group of the children you are dealing with.
  • Prepare a variety of question types that you will use or have used in your probing.
  • The conceptual understandings you focus on, and the probe activities, may be selected from ‘Ideas for Teaching Science: Years P-8’ (Hubber and Tytler, 2005) and adapted for pre-school children. These references provide rich tasks to engage and sustain children’s conceptual development.Does cork float? (this is a closed, subject-centred question).What do you think will happen if I place this piece of cork on top of the water surface? (this is a productive, person-centred question).Part A Probing children’s understanding

The activities should focus on a substantial conceptual understanding (eg. concepts of air, or force, or electricity, or floating and sinking). Use the lesson plan for probing templateprovided to help focus your planning.  This is on CLOUDDEAKIN in the Assessment folder.

You should experiment with different types of activities, for instance a Predict-Observe-Explain activity, or a concept map, a role play, drawings or a written narrative. It is important that you choose a topic for which recommended probes are available. The probes you choose must provide for substantial  exploration of the children’s ideas using a play or activity basedstrategy.

As you undertake the activities with the children you will ask pre-plannedquestions. Construct questions for your probing activities, taking care to ask challenging questions as indicated by the Categorising Questions sheet. For example, within the topic of ‘floating and sinking’, one may ask questions like:

  • Does cork float? (this is a closed, subject-centredquestion).
  • What do you think will happen if I place this piece of cork on top of the water surface? (this is a productive, person-centredquestion).

However, be prepared to ask follow upquestions on the basis of the children’s responses as they may give you further insight into their thinking.


A range of resources is available on CLOUDDEAKIN.  This includes:

  • Probes of understandingsprovides a discussion of probes in general as well as examples of probe activities, and their underlying conceptions.
  • Categorizing QuestionsDET.
  • Lesson Plan forProbing.

The Report (Parts A & B)(1200 words) Use subheadings.

Part A Probing children’s understandings
Part B The Implications of Probing Children’s Prior Understandings References

PartA Written component - Probing Children’s Understandings (600 words):

  1. List the concepts that were probed, each activity that was used to investigate each concept, and the method (e.g. POE, Interview-about-events) used to probe children’s understandings. This can be presented in atable.
  2. Justify the appropriateness of the activities in terms of the age group of thechildren.
  3. Analyse each child’s responses to the questions and analyse these to give a description of each child’s prior understandingsof theconcepts:
    • making explicitreference to the data (ie each child’s verbal or written responses, drawings, actions, your anecdotal notes taken at the time etc.) withinthe report. Include samples of evidence within the report (eg an example of something said or done which led you to your judgement of their prior understandings), but the bulk of your data should be placed in theappendix.
    • identify alternative conceptions. An alternative concept is a child’s idea based on the child’s own experience. The alternative concept held by the child may or may not bear a relationship to the scientifically accepted a child may believe that “the sun moves across the sky”, which is an alternative concept. The actual concept relates to the Earth’s movement on itsaxis.
  4. Categorise the pre-planned and follow-up questions according to the typesin the sheet “Categorizing Questions” and discuss how effective the questioning wasby referring to the different question types and whether the responses of the children gave you the information you were seeking. Were some question types used more frequently or were more informative thanothers?

Evaluate how effective any additional activities were for identifying each child’s prior knowledge.

Part B The Implications of Probing Children’s Prior Understandings References

Based on your analysis of each child’s responses, how would you build on this knowledge in planning additional activities? Using research literature, discuss why is it important to probe each child’s understandings, with reference to constructivist theory.

You should also draw on research literaturein discussing how you would deal with children’s prior knowledge. Your strategies and activities should support young children to engage with science, and should link with the research literature on children’s learning in science.

Assignment 2: Report: Teaching for Quality Learning in Science through Play Value 50% (2000 words)  due May 16th    (IKE – due third intensive) 2017

In this assignment, your task is to observe and participate in the normal practice in an early childhood centre. With educators linking their practice to the Frameworks, you are to look for how they have incorporated this into practice, how they are ‘intentionally’ teaching science.

Across several weeks, select two examplesof children exhibiting new learning through play. This learning must be related to science or environmental awareness.


  • This play can be with or without an adultpresent.
  • Select 2 illustrations which are quite different in the nature of the learning that occurs.

Centres commonly plan science and environmental activities and it is up to the Deakin student to be aware of the science incorporated into many of the children’s explorations. However, there are other ‘incidental’ science learning moments as well as ‘teachable’ moments where the educator might move into a child’s play intentionally. These can also be used for this assignment. Please discuss with your tutor if you are having difficulty identifying these specific instances.

Report format – please use sub-headings.

Introduction– Provide a paragraph on play theory as it relates to science and how children learn science through play (350-400 words)

Two illustrations.- Prepare a 600-650 word piece about each ‘illustration’ which describes the type of learning-through-play which you have observed.

  • Describe what the children are doing, who are involved (other children, parents, educators), and what they are saying and what others are saying to them. This forms yourdata.
  • Analyse and discuss these data to identify children’slearning.
  • As you are looking at the intentional teaching of the pre-school educator, you need to discuss what promoted those learning opportunities:
    • How did the tasks and resources affect children’s learning? How are tasks, resources, and learning related to each other? Note: children can be considered resources eg children as peer tutors
    • what the educator has done to either set the experience up for the children,
      • enhanced the play experience through scaffolding (questioning, focussing challenging)
      • extended the experience through teacher-led activities.

Conclusion (280-300 words)

Discuss how your two examples are linked to the early years learning framework and the importance of intentional teaching for promoting learning. Refer to broader educational research literature.